Study shows teen texting still rampant
A recent study conducted by the Highway Safety Research Center at the University of North Carolina Chapel looked at how often teen drivers are still sending and receiving text messages while driving. Even though it has been against the law to even use a cell phone while driving in North Carolina since 2006, the researchers found teens are still keeping up with the behavior, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.
The findings were based off of the observation of 5,000 teenagers leaving high school parking lots. A researcher would sit and see if the teens leaving the parking lot were on talking on their phone or presumably texting. They found two years after the law passed, the behavior decreased from 11 percent to 9.7 percent. However, since then, teen texting while driving has seen a huge upsurge – 40 percent, according to the news source.
The researchers also interviewed some of the students at the various high schools, and many said that they know a great deal of people who text and drive.
“Everyone I know who has their license texts,” Ure Loop, 15, a student at Green Hope High, told the media outlet. “I know someone who almost got hit by a bus. They were texting.”
Teens are not the only culprits when it comes to texting and driving, as adults have recently been self-reporting they are guilty of the habit as well.
“It’s not necessarily just a teen thing,” led study author Arthur Goodwin told the news source. “If we’re actually worried about teen cellphone use while driving, perhaps adults also need to put the phones down, whether voluntarily or by force. There is some evidence that all-driver cellphone bans work.”
According to The News and Advance, 39 states ban texting from all drivers including North Carolina, and law enforcement is trying to find new ways to better detect when a person is doing so.
Parents who are concerned with how often their child is texting and driving can implement a cell phone tracking system on their teen’s cell phone. This can alert parents to not only where their child is, but also let a parent know when their teen is using their phone. If a child’s behavior is being monitored, it is more likely they will stop texting while driving.